Learn everything you need to know about 20 indoor plant varieties that don’t need sunlight and how they can add color and beauty to your indoor space.
Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Sunlight
At home, certain areas of our indoor spaces may not have the opportunity to enjoy the warmth and brightness of the sun’s rays.
This is why a good sunbath once in a while is a necessity especially for those who spend more time indoors. However, nearly all plants are meant to grow and thrive in direct sunlight.
So it is interesting to know that some plant varieties don’t need sunlight to grow or survive. If you are a plant lover looking to bring a touch of nature into your living or working space, then take a look at our list of 20 plants that don’t need sunlight.
You might find a no-light plant variety that will be compatible with your indoor decor and bring it home.
Read More: How To Water Indoor Plants While On Vacation
1. Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae)
Bromeliads are a unique variety of tropical indoor plants that need no light. It has a beautiful combination of colors that makes it stand out from the rest. Its elegant look and tropical feel make it a favourite of many houseplant lovers.
Whether it is displayed on a shelf, arranged in a pot in a corner, placed in a case on top of a dining table, it brightens every environment it finds itself in. There are several different Bromeliads species.
Most of these species do well in bright indirect sunlight since prolonged exposure to the sun can kill its leaves. Although they are no light plants, bromeliads can still thrive under artificial light.
2. Chinese Evergreen Plants (Aglaonema)
Originating from China, the scientific name for this particular houseplant is Aglaonema. It is an indoor plant variety that grows easily and is ideal for people with little or no experience intending to indoor plants.
Mature Chinese Evergreen Plants produce flowers that resemble calla lilies making them aesthetically ideal for indoor spaces near furniture and walk corners. On the other hand, budding Chinese evergreen plants are best used for shelf decor or to decorate a tabletop.
Besides being natural plants that need no light, the Chinese Evergreen Plants are among NASA’s top list of air purifying house plants. This means that when you bring this specific plant to your home, you bring both health and beauty in one pack of green.
The Chinese Evergreen Plants come in different varieties and most of these varieties are low light plants meaning they can do with minimal sunlight. However, this particular plant can survive pretty well with no direct sunlight.
3. Cast Iron Plants (Aspidistra Elatior)
Given its tough nature, the cast iron plant is sometimes referred to as the iron plant. Its ability to adapt to different environmental conditions makes it one of the most popular choices for houseplants that don’t need light.
It’s also the perfect choice for plant lovers with no time to care for their indoor plants. It has lush green leaves that richly transform an indoor setting giving it a beautiful natural glow.
Cast iron are plants that can survive with minimal light and not necessarily sunlight. You can grow them anywhere in your home provided you don’t expose them to direct sunlight.
Furthermore, they grow at a surprisingly slow pace but they are certainly hard to kill. They can endure most environmental conditions but direct sunlight will definitely kill their leaves.
Caring for cast iron plants entails wiping off the dust from their leaves with a damp cloth to allow them to absorb nutrients from the little light they need to grow.
Dracaena are another variety of indoor plants that don’t need sun. They also come in different small and large varieties that can make a beautiful tabletop or shelf, floor display.
One such variety that makes perfect floor decor is the dracaena massangeana. The plant also has a unique look that resembles a tree. Dracaenas thrive best in bright indirect light.
However, they also fall in the same category of plants that can survive with minimal sunlight. Just like the Chinese Evergreen Plants, they are among the air filtering plants that can purify your home and rid it of toxins.
5. Peacock Plants
The peacock plant is also known by other names including the zebra plant, cathedral windows, and rattlesnake plant. The name is derived from its beautiful foliage which can be likened to the multicoloured peacock’s feathers.
Peacock plants are no light plants that require delicate care. They thrive in moist soil, humid temperatures and can only take distilled or rainwater. They only need a minimal amount of indirect light as overexposure to light can make them develop sad leaves that can give your living space a duller look.
When picking peacock plants as your ideal houseplant, be sure to select mature plants with healthy leaves as opposed to smaller plants with brown leaves. Healthier plant species will make the process of caring for your peacock plants much easier.
6. Parlor Palms (Chamaedorea elegans)
Parlor palms make a great display in the dining or living room. During the Victorian era, having a parlor palms plant indicated the household is very affluent. That may not be the case in the contemporary world, but the parlor palms still retain their sophistication and beauty.
They also grow in medium light but are generally low light plants that thrive in cool shades as opposed to bright light. The good thing about these stunning indoor plants is that they need no sun but can still do with artificial light.
7. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
Dumb canes, scientifically known as Dieffenebschia are great for improving the aesthetics of an office or living space. The name dumb cane refers to its poisonous foliages that may affect children or pets.
This plant requires extra and delicate care since being in contact with its sap can cause swelling and itching. However, this danger can be minimized with proper handling.
Dumb canes come in different species all of which have different preferences in terms of environmental conditions necessary for growth. Some species require filtered light while others may not need light at all. While shopping for dumb canes, examine the different species available then settle for one that is easy to maintain.
8. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum)
Although they are stunning and undeniably elegant, maidenhair ferns are delicate plants which if not handled properly can easily die. However, their stunning leaves and appearance are worth every effort you invest in having them as part of your home interior decor.
Maidenhair ferns come in different varieties. However, some varieties are strictly plants that need no light. They include the Boston Fern and bird’s nest Fern.
Typically maidenhair ferns thrive in bright indirect sunlight with high humid temperatures and moist soil. They prefer distilled or rainwater and can die at the slightest exposure to direct sunlight.
9 English Ivy (Hedera Helix)
English Ivy is a lovely climbing plant that can richly transform the aesthetics of your indoor wall. As a climbing plant, it can grow well in fences, trellises, and similar areas that allow its vines to thrive.
If you grow them from seeds, you will have to wait for two years for the vines to grow and spread fully! The English Ivy is a low light plant that can still tolerate bright indirect light. The brighter the light, the more your English Ivy plant will glow.
If you have it as your houseplant it can thrive and grow under your artificial indoor lights. English Ivy comes in different varieties and most of them can be vulnerable to direct light and may not survive in direct exposure to sunlight. Other varieties like pothos grow best in shady areas.
10. Peperomia (Peperomia)
Peperomia is a small indoor plant that can give your office desk or dining table a rich green touch. Peperomia cones in thousands of Unique varieties that are mostly found in south and central America.
Since they are endowed with thick lush leaves they thrive mostly in dry soil and can survive for a few days without water. Their thick leaves come in different shades of green, red, cream, and gray.
Peperomia prefers bright indirect light but can still tolerate artificial fluorescent light. They can also survive in partial shade if they have to.
If you would like the leaves of these particular indoor plants that don’t need the sun to remain thick, green, and healthy then do not expose them to direct sunlight. This may cause the leaves to burn after a short time.
Philodendrons have elegant foliages and a distinct appearance. They also have beautiful heart-shaped leaves. They are one of the few species of indoor plants that need no sunlight and can also adapt to different environmental conditions.
It has different varieties done of which are climbing plants that can grow up to three feet tall.
Some varieties are low light plants that require little care.
However, the majority of philodendron plant varieties require bright indirect light or partial shade. Exposure to direct sunlight may make their leaves wither away but lack of bright indirect light can also make them sick.
12. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Many people tend to assume that a peace lily is actually a genuine lily. But this is not the case. Apart from sharing the same mane with the lily flower, the two plants differ from each other.
Peace lily has a white petal-like leaf that grows alongside its yellow flower. They also have an average height of 20-40 inches making them the ideal plant for floor decor.
The peace lily is a low light plant but can still do well in fluorescent light. If given sufficient light they produce beautiful white scented flowers that bring freshness to your home. Although they can survive with minimal light, they are less likely to produce flowers if they don’t receive adequate light.
The peace lily is among the top air-purifying houseplants that are just about what your home needs to filter out harmful toxins.
13. Prayer Plants (Maranta leuconeura)
When the sun sinks in its obb and darkness sets in, the prayer plant behaves especially. Its leaves closed up like hands about to pray hence the name prayer plant. The prayer plant has thick veins and large, oval-shaped dark green leaves.
These characteristics make them ideal for a hanging basket or shelf display. A prayer plant is a houseplant that doesn’t need sunlight. It thrives on bright indirect light but is also a low light plant that can withstand a few hours of direct indoor lights.
However, it really needs a specific amount of indirect light each day. It does not receive it, the leaves will fold up as usual in the evening but will not open again in the morning. When this happens the leaves will begin to wither away and from there it’s just a matter of time before it dies completely.
To ensure this does not happen, ensure sufficient bright indirect light each day. Also, make sure the soil is moist and not too damp. Also, the temperatures should be humid at times.
14. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
The scientific name for the snake plant is Sansevieria trifasciata. It’s also called mother-in-law’s tongue, an inspiration taken from the plant’s Sharon pointed leaves.
The name is also derived from its striped colour that looks like a snake’s skin. Snake plants are hard, tall houseplants that can resiliently survive neglect. So if you are a busy plant owner, your snake plant can do just fine without you for a few weeks.
Snake plants can also withstand low indirect bright light, but they are generally indoor plants that don’t need sunlight. Excessive watering can make their roots rot, so you should water them in moderation.
This is because they thrive mostly in dry soil. To learn more about how you can care for your snake plants and water your indoor plants, take a look at our step-by-step guide we prepared just for you.
15. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
If you are a new plant owner with little or no experience in caring for indoor plants, then go for pothos. Not only are they indoor plants that need no sun, but they are also easy to maintain.
Pothos plants produce long beautiful vines that make a great wall display and bring a cool tropical atmosphere to your indoor space. These characteristics make them ideal for hanging baskets or potting on your tabletop.
Pothos plants require bright indoor light to grow but can also tolerate medium natural light. They are vulnerable to extreme light which can make their leaves turn yellow.
On the other hand lack of sufficient light can also cause their beautiful leaves to turn into pale, dull shades. Pothos also requires a minimal amount of water and moist soil.
16. Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum)
Another species of a house plant that doesn’t need light and which has a peculiar name is the spider plant. They have long sharp-pointed skinny foliage that spreads from their roots. The leaves look like spider legs hence the name.
It’s also called ribbon plant or spider ivy. If given proper care, the plant can develop small white flowers from which sprouts little spiderette or young spider plants. These can be transplanted into another pot to grow a new generation of spider plants.
Spider plants are houseplants that don’t need light but require bright indirect light to thrive. However, they can still survive in an environment with a mixture of natural and fluorescent light or none at all.
If given water high in fluoride, spider plants can develop brownish leaves. To avoid this, water it with distilled or rainwater. This will enable it to retain its lush green appearance.
17. Staghorn Fern
Staghorn fern is a short plant that is kinda selective of its living conditions. However, it is a low light plant that will magically transform your indoor aesthetics.
The plants do not like direct exposure to the sun but can thrive in bright, indirect, or filtered natural light. Furthermore, Staghorn fern cannot survive under artificial light so you should be careful not to expose them to your indoor artificial lights.
They should also be kept away from the window where they’re likely to catch some of the sun’s rays. It also requires moist soil to thrive. However, care should be taken to ensure the soil is not too damp.
Staghorn fern is one of the high-maintenance indoor plants that will demand a lot of your time and attention. If you are a busy person, then you might not be better placed to care for staghorn fern. For additional tips on how to water your indoor plants take a look at the new guide.
18. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sandariana)
Lucky bamboo is a native central African plant that is referred to by almost ten other nicknames. It belongs to the Asparagaceae family and is believed to bring positive vibes and good fortune.
Contrary to popular belief, lucky bamboo is not your typical bamboo plant. It is actually a tropical water lily. Because it is associated with good luck, it is the preferred gift for housewarming parties.
Being a hydroponic plant, lucky bamboo can thrive in both water and soil mediums. It is a no-light plant that prefers a shadier area with no exposure to direct sunlight.
To minimize the risk of its leaves being scorched, avoid placing them where they might take in some of the sun’s rays. Lucky bamboo can bring a great transformation to your office space, especially for corner displays.
19. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcasi)
The ZZ plant is one of the toughest and most resilient houseplants that cannot die easily. It has tough yet lush foliage that makes it ideal for a plant enthusiast in need of a long-time friend.
It has wax-like leaves that shine under bright indirect light. This gives it an elegant glow that spreads throughout the indoor space. Here is a faithful plant that will transform your home’s atmosphere for a long time to come. This plant required bright indirect sunlight to thrive.
However, it can still survive with medium-light since it is naturally a low light plant. Minimal amounts of water are all the ZZ plant needs to flourish. However direct light may cause its leaves to turn yellow or curl up.
20. Aloe Vera
The last in our list of indoor plants that need no light is the medicinal aloe vera plant. When you choose this particular houseplant for your home, you choose both beauty and medicine all in one pack of green. It can be grown in a pot or on the ground.
Aloe vera can survive in any climate except frost or winter. If you live in an extremely cold area, you can pot it up and bring it with you indoors. As a flexible plant, Aloe vera can thrive in sunlight just as much as it can survive in bright indirect light.
However if given sufficient bright light, it produces fat, heavy leaves that are both rich in natural medicine and beauty. The trick is to ensure it receives plenty of light in the morning and lots of shade in the afternoon. This will minimize the risk of its leaves turning yellow from overexposure to sunlight.
A Word From Hello Kitty Orchids
To pick out the right space for your indoor plants, try placing a specific indoor plant in separate sections of your home. Observe how the plant responds to the environment for a few hours.
If the leaves suddenly begin to turn dark brown, yellow, or pale, then you’ll know that your plant is receiving too much light. Move it to a safer spot. If the plant develops stunted growth or small leaves, then it is lacking the proper nutrients it needs from indirect light.
Again, move it to a brighter spot. Keep experimenting with various plant species until you find the one that is compatible with your home environment.